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Special Session Call, Fort Rucker Drawdown


Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says the state must solve a budget crisis to avoid deep cuts in government services.

      Bentley rolled out his plans for a special legislative session focusing on the state budget.

      The governor says he is seeking "fair minimal taxes" including a cigarette tax increase, changes to business privilege taxes, and either a soft drink tax or small changes to a state income tax deduction.

Bentley says he believes voters are adamantly opposed to the funding cuts in state parks, Medicaid and mental health that will happen October first without new revenue.

The governor says he will not consider expanding gambling.

Bentley has called lawmakers into session beginning Monday, weeks earlier than lawmakers expected. Bentley said he believes lawmakers are ready to solve this problem.

      One of Alabama’s military bases will be losing staff members soon. APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports it’s part of a national Army drawdown.

Due to budget cutbacks, Fort Rucker in southeastern Alabama will see its staff reduced by 186 members. U.S. Representative Martha Roby’s office says that cut represents about 6% of the post’s positions.

That’s better than other military bases in the Southeast are faring. Fort Benning, Georgia is expected to lose around 3,400 soldiers, and other U.S. bases are anticipating cuts as high as 40% of their total staff.

Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal will not see any cuts.

Overall, the Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers and 17,000 more civilian soldiers in order to bring total numbers below 450,000 by September of next year.

Fans of Alabama football are remembering former Quarterback Ken Stabler. The man known as “The Snake” died from complications related to cancer. He earned his nickname for his ability to weave through defenders. During his freshman year at Alabama, Stabler sat behind Joe Namath as the Crimson Tide won a national title. He also split time with Steve Sloan the following season to win another national title. However, Bryant Museum Director Ken Gaddy says when Stabler led the team his junior year the undefeated Alabama Football team was NOT declared the national champion…

“1966 was the middle of the civil rights movement, one of the turning points in Alabama and national history so the turmoil associated with that hurt the Alabama team in the rankings, they ended up third but it was an undefeated team.”

Gaddy Says Stabler was a key part of making that team successful.

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